Group Of 'Drunk' Soldiers Killed Afghan Civilians Say Witnesses
"The initial reporting that we have at this time indicates there was one shooter, and we have one man in custody,"-- Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a NATO spokesmanA group of US soldiers were involved in the attacks on civilians in Kandahar province, say eyewitnesses who undermine the official account that a single soldier was responsible.
Neighbors and relatives of the dead said a group of US soldiers arrived at one of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province at about 2am, entered homes and opened fire.
Haji Samad told Reuters 11 of his relatives were killed in one house, including his children.
"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," a weeping Samad said at the scene. Neighbors said they awoke to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, whom they described as laughing and drunk. "They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where the incident took place. "Their bodies were riddled with bullets."Jan Agha, 20, told Reuters that American soldiers entered the family home as he lay on the floor, pretending to be dead.
"My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognisable. My brother was shot in the head and chest and my sister was killed, too."Another witness, Agha Lala, who is in his 40s, said he was awoken by gunfire at about 02:00.
"I watched them from a wall for a while. Then they opened fire on me. The bullets hit the wall. They were laughing. They did not seem normal. It was like they were drunk," he said.President Hamid Karzai's office, said in a statement he had spoken by telephone to a young boy who was wounded in the shootings who also described how American soldiers had entered his house and opened fire on his family.
However, despite these reports, a senior US defense official in Washington rejected the witness accounts that several apparently drunk soldiers were involved.